The School of Eurasian Integration: Is EEU’s entry onto foreign markets a possibility?

04 October 2018

Participants of the International School of Eurasian Integration, which is taking place in Moscow on October 1-5, met with representatives of Russian Export Center (REC) – a national institute established to support development of the export industry. What are the chances of the EEU in global markets under modern conditions when the global trade is being reviewed? Director for Strategy Development, Export Policy and Analysis of REC Mikhail Sneg discussed that with the young experts.

There is no system supporting export into third countries on the supranational level of the Eurasian Economic Union. According to Mikhail Sneg, the EEU aims at creating a common space internally and expanding a goods exchange between the allies. However, there is no common access onto foreign markers and each country is developing its own institutions.

 “However, it is a good area for activities. Trade inside the EEU is already on a relatively high level, economies of our countries have been deeply integrated, and all that is left to do is to increase volumes by improving transparency of regulation and removing unnecessary barriers”, believes Mikhail Sneg.

Russia, according to him, focuses on non-CIS markets. Besides, a strategically important goal for Russia is development of non-resource-based non-energy export, which includes all goods, except for the ones extracted without a significant added value: ore, coal, unprocessed timber, oil and gas, unprocessed diamonds.

On the level of the non-resource-based non-energy export all factors of international competition become effective: an image of the country, existence of a brand, service support, quality of products, appealing prices… We have to fight for those markets.

In 2017, Russia the same way as the EEU achieved growth in export indicators: the non-resource-based non-energy export increased by 22%. Business got adapted to post-crisis changes and a new microeconomic situation. However, as of today, it only compensates falls during a crisis period. In order for the growth to continue, we should make a great effort.

According to the “May orders” of President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Russia should increase the non-resource-based non-energy export upto $250 bn – that is, actually, double it as in 2017 the volume reached $134 bn. In order to achieve that extremely ambitious target, we should build up production capacities and remove barriers in relation to other countries, which are still numerous. “In Russia and in the EEU export regulation is not the simplest one”, concluded Mikhail Sneg.

In addition to that, we should improve our image in the foreign market. “Does the EEU need its own foreign economic brand similar to the EU? It brings many benefits to European countries. However, Russia has not decided yet whether a part of the efforts already taken to promote the brand “Made in Russia” should be transferred to creation of the brand “Made in Eurasia?” The question if we can receive any benefits from that process does not have an answer yet”, said Mikhail Sneg.